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NE Florida Environmental Summit Feb. 27 to hit hot topics in commerce, ports, climate, water and more

Port development, water shortages, climate change, clean energy and more are topics on tap at the 15th annual Northeast Florida Environmental Summit Thursday, Feb. 27, co-hosted by Florida Coastal School of Law and Jacksonville University.NEFL Env Summit.jpg
The event at the law school brings together environmental, business and legal experts with government officials, policy analysts and students to discuss topical issues making headlines and cut through the often-misunderstood issues surrounding them.
Dennis Stone, President of Florida Coastal School of Law, and Dr. Quinton White, Executive Director of the JU Marine Science Research Institute, will provide opening remarks for the event, which this year is titled “Business and the Environment: Bridging the Gap.”
“Trying to balance environmental needs and business needs can be difficult,” White said. “The partnership of JU and FCSL has allowed us to look at the legal, ethical and economic issues with our combined interests. This summit should provide attendees with an interesting perspective that we think is balanced and can open the door for future discussions.”
Eric V. Hull, Assistant Professor of Law at Florida Coastal, said the event brings together a group of distinguished experts from the business, regulatory and environmental communities.
“The balanced composition of each panel is intended to provide the audience with a fair examination of each topic and a better understanding of the interests and concerns shared by key stakeholders.”
Speakers and panelists include Susan Grandin, Director of the Division of State Lands, Florida Department of Environmental Protection; George D. Gabel Jr., attorney, Holland and Knight LLP;  David Jaffee, Ph. D., Professor of Sociology, University of North Florida; Marc Hudson, Land Protection Director, North Florida Land Trust; Michelle Myers, Director, Sierra Club, San Francisco Bay Chapter; Wanda Forrest, Planning Manager, North Florida Transportation Planning Organization; Thomas C. Larson, Florida Energy Policy Manager, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy; Donald Blanchard, General Counsel (ret.), ServiceLink; Stacey Watson May, attorney, Holland & Knight LLP; Judd F. Sneirson, Associate Professor, Savannah Law School; Hans Tanzler III, Executive Director, St. Johns River Water Management District.; Lisa Rinaman, St. Johns Riverkeeper; Margo Moehring, Managing Director of Policy and Planning, Northeast Florida Regional Council and Executive Director, Regional Community Institute of Northeast Florida; Sara Gonzalez-Rothi Kronenthal, Senior Policy Specialist, National Wildlife Federation; and Josephine M. Balzac, Chief Environmental Officer, EarthWeb Foundation.
A full schedule and biographies of the speakers is below.
For more information, contact Quinton White, Jacksonville University, (904) 256-7766.
 
15th Annual Northeast Florida Environmental Summit
“Business and the Environment: Bridging the Gap”
Feb. 27, 2014
Florida Coastal School of Law
8787 Baypine Road, Jacksonville, FL 32256
Co-hosted by Florida Coastal School of Law and Jacksonville University
Agenda
8:30 a.m.                              Registration      
9:00 a.m.- 9:15 a.m.:         Opening Remarks/Welcome
                                                               Dennis Stone, President, Florida Coastal School of Law
                                                                         
Dr. Quinton White, Professor and Executive Director of Marine Science Research Institute, Jacksonville University
9:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.:  Panel I:  Post-Panamax Port Development
                                                 Student Moderator: (TBD)
Speakers:
                                                Local/Regional Business Considerations
George D. Gable Jr. Esq., Chairman, North Florida Logistics Advisory Group; Partner, Holland and Knight, LLP.
Local/Regional Business Considerations
Dr. David Jaffee, Professor of Sociology, University of North Florida
                                               
Local/Regional Environmental Considerations
Marc Hudson, Land Protection Director, North Florida Land Trust
10:35 a.m.- 11:55 a.m.: Panel 2:Ethics in Business and Environmental Law
               Student Moderator: (TBD)
                                                Speakers: 
                                             Business Ethics;
Don Blanchard, General Counsel, Servicelink
  
Environmental Compliance Issues
Stacy Watson May, Attorney, Holland & Knight, LLP.
                                                                         
                                          Environmental Fiduciary Duties
Judd F. Sneirson, Associate Professor of Law, Savannah Law School   
                                                                          
Noon - 1:00 p.m.:             Keynote Address
Susan Grandin, Esq., Director of State Lands, Florida Department of Environmental Protection
                               
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Panel 3: The Economic and Environmental Impacts of Water
                                                 Withdrawal
            Student Moderator (TBD)
                                                Speakers             
Regulatory /Business Perspective on Bottled Water Industry
           Hans Tanzler III, Esq., Executive Director, St. Johns River Water
           Management District
Local/Regional Perspective: St. Johns River Withdrawals
                                               Lisa Rinaman, The St. Johns River Keeper
2:10 p.m. - 3:25 p.m. Panel 4: The Economic and Environmental Implications of Clean
                                                                 Energy Technology
             Student Moderator (TBD)
                                                Speakers: 
National Perspective
Michelle Myers, Director, Sierra Club, San Francisco Bay Chapter
                                               
Local/Regional Clean Energy Initiatives
Wanda Forrest, Planning Manager, North Florida TPO 
                                         
Environmental Implications of Clean Energy                                  
Thomas C. Larson, Florida Energy Policy Manager,
Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

3:30p.m. - 4:45p.m. Panel 5: Economic Development in an Era of Climate Change: Land and Wildlife Preservation
                                                           Student Moderator (TBD)
Speakers:           
Regional Development 
Margo Moehring, Director of Policy, Northeast Florida Regional Council and Executive Director, Regional Community Institute of Northeast Florida, Inc.
Wildlife Preservation
Sara Gonzalez-Rothi Kronenthal, Esq., Senior Policy Specialist, National Wildlife Federation
Stakeholder Interests
Josephine M. Balzac, Esq., Chief Environmental Officer EarthWeb Foundation

4:45 p.m.:                                           Closing Remarks
Eric V. Hull, Associate Professor of Law, Florida Coastal School of Law

15th Northeast Florida Environmental Summit
                                                                                       Speaker Biographies
Keynote Speaker
Susan Grandin, Esq., Director of the Division of State Lands, Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Ms. Grandin directs the administration of the 12 million acres of land owned by the State of Florida, and held in trust by the state for the public. This includes 3.1 million acres of conservation land, 200,000 acres of non-conservation land, and 9 million acres of sovereign submerged land. The Division provides these services and serves as staff to the Governor and Cabinet in this capacity through two basic programmatic areas: land transactions- which includes land acquisition, land disposition, exchanges and donations; and land administration - which includes leases, easements and use agreements for state owned uplands and submerged land. Ms. Grandin previously served as President of The Preservation Law Group, Inc. The group specializes in the preservation and protection of military installations and civilian airfields. Prior to that, Grandin served as Director of the Jacksonville Office of The Trust for Public Land. She also has experience in environmental and land use law, serving as Assistant General Counsel for the City of Jacksonville. She received a law degree from Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law, and a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Florida.
 

Panelists
George D. Gabel Jr., Attorney and Partner, Holland and Knight, LLP.
Mr. Gable is the national litigation practice development partner and deputy section leader of Holland & Knight's National Litigation Section, which has more than 400 lawyers in more than 20 practice groups. He previously served on the firm's Directors Committee and as executive partner of the Jacksonville office. He received a law degree from the University of Florida, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Davidson College.
 
David Jaffee, Ph. D., Professor of Sociology, University of North Florida
Dr. Jaffee’s research interests have included economic sociology, political economy, organization theory, and the sociology of higher education. Dr. Jaffee recently launched “The Ports Project” which is a community-based research project aimed at studying the various aspects and implications of a port economy, generally, and the expansion of the JaxPort enterprise, specifically. Dr. Jaffee teaches courses in social change/international development, organizations, social statistics, and economic sociology. He received a Ph. D. in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from Washington University-St. Louis, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science (Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of Florida.
               
Marc Hudson, Land Protection Director, North Florida Land Trust
Mr. Hudson has experience in nonprofit management, conservation real estate, field biology, fundraising, environmental issues, history and charitable tax law. He was previously the Program Director for the Chattahoochee Valley Land Trust and Land Protection Director for Georgia Land Trust. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from State University of New York College at Geneseo. 
 
Michelle Myers, Director, Sierra Club, San Francisco Bay Chapter.
Ms. Myers has been active promoting clean, renewable energy, protecting sensitive habitat areas, fighting for environmental justice, and planning more sustainable communities throughout the Bay Area. She coordinates the Sierra Club’s political program, engages in lobbies state legislators and manages the Sierra Club’s Political Action Committees. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, Sociology and Psychology from the State University of New York at Albany. 

Wanda Forrest, Planning Manager, North Florida Transportation Planning Organization
Wanda Forrest, a 30-year transportation professional, is the transportation planning manager for the independent four-county North Florida Transportation Planning Organization (North Florida TPO) handling transportation planning and prioritizing in northeast Florida.  She is also the coordinator of the Clean Fuels Coalition formed in 2009, which has stakeholders representing the six alternative fuels included in the Department of Energy‘s Clean Cities program. Ms. Forrest has been in her current position since 2010 overseeing studies for various modes and contracts with consulting firms. She has managed three updates of the Long Range Transportation Plan, staffs several committees and manages updates for the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and the List of Priority Projects (LOPP) all of which are federally required for MPOs.  She has served as a senior planner in Jacksonville/Duval and Clay Counties and as senior regional planner for the Northeast Florida Regional Planning Council.  Ms. Forrest has been with the TPO 14 years.  She has a Bachelor of Science degree in urban and regional planning from East Carolina University.
 
Thomas C. Larson, Florida Energy Policy Manager, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Mr. Larson has advised the Florida Energy Commission and is on the Sierra Club’s Florida Energy Committee, as well as the Florida Steering Committee. He serves as Treasurer for Sierra Club Florida. He holds a Masters of Business Administration in Finance, Accounting and Public Policy from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Administration from Miami University where he received the Howard White Scholarship Award in Political Science. 

Donald Blanchard, General Counsel (ret.) ServiceLink
Mr. Blanchard recently retired from his position as General Counsel for ServiceLink, a Black Knight Financial Services company, formerly affiliated with Fidelity National Financial. Don has broad experience in corporate, land use and real estate law. Prior to joining ServiceLink, Don served as the General Counsel for LandSafe, Inc., the settlement services affiliate of Bank of America. National providers like ServiceLink and LandSafe order and manage the appraisal, credit, flood, title, default and closing products in all 50 states that national lenders and servicers need to close and/or process residential mortgages. Don served as General Counsel of a midsized commercial bank in Connecticut prior to entering the mortgage services industry. He was also a Section Chief at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), where he litigated and managed large asset resolutions for failed banks. He also served as an Environmental Resource Officer at the FDIC, working on various permit and pollution issues at industrial sites in the six (6) state, NE region. Don began his legal career as a municipal attorney, advising the Mayor, city zoning boards and environmental commissions. He continued this type of work as a real estate lawyer and title agent in private practice, closing hundreds of residential and commercial real estate transactions every year. He also handled various permits and land use work before both state and federal administrative agencies.  He was elected and served as the Chairman of the Planning & Zoning Commission in his home town. He was also appointed by the legislature to the Connecticut Council on Environmental Quality. More recently, he is a Director of the St. Johns Riverkeeper in Jacksonville and is Chairman of its Legal Committee. He has also served as a Director of the Real Estate Valuation Advocacy Association (REVAA) and as a longtime member of the Legal Steering Committee of the Mortgage Bankers Association. Don has a Juris Doctor degree and is admitted to practice in the courts of Connecticut and Pennsylvania. He is also admitted to practice in the US federal courts.

 

Stacey Watson May, Attorney, Holland & Knight, LLP.
Ms. Watson May counsels a variety of industrial and commercial clients such as manufacturers, facility owners and developers with environmental compliance and enforcement actions across multiple states as well as at the federal and local levels. For these clients, she regularly negotiates reduced penalties with government agencies. Ms. Watson May assists in the design of corrective action plans and environmental management systems to meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and hazardous materials handling and permitting matters. Ms. Watson May handles civil and administrative litigation involving permit challenges, mining operations, cost recovery, indoor air quality issues, Legionnaires' disease and toxic torts. For property owners and investors, Ms. Watson May handles litigation and transactions involving the purchase, sale and redevelopment of environmentally impacted properties. She pilots clients through the environmental due diligence of real estate and manufacturing operations in large mergers and acquisitions at the state, multistate and multinational levels. These deals often involve significant residential, commercial and condominium developments as well as condominium conversions. She also counsels lenders and developers regarding environmental concerns of foreclosed properties.  Ms. Watson May is a state certified Circuit Civil Mediator in all Florida judicial circuits. She received a law degree from The John Marshal Law School, in Chicago, Illinois, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Processes and Disorders from the University of Florida.
Judd F. Sneirson, Associate Professor, Savannah Law School. Professor Sneirson teaches  contracts, business organizations, an intellectual property survey, and a green business seminar. Following a judicial clerkship in federal district court in New Jersey, he practiced at the New York law firm of Willkie Farr & Gallagher. He began his teaching career in 2000 and has held appointments at Willamette University, the University of Oregon, the University of Florida, and Hofstra University. Professor Sneirson’s scholarship focuses on corporate law fiduciary duties, particularly as they relate to sustainability, and has appeared in the Iowa Law Review, the Wisconsin Law Review, and the peer-reviewed Corporate Practice Commentator. He is a graduate of Williams College and the University of  Pennsylvania Law School.

Hans Tanzler III, Esq. Executive Director, St. Johns River Water Management District
Mr. Tanzler was named Executive Director on Oct. 11, 2011, after serving as the director of the St. Johns River Water Management District’s Office of General Counsel. He is also a certified public accountant and has worked as an assistant U.S. attorney, an Internal Revenue Service attorney, an attorney in private practice, and a senior corporate business executive. Mr. Tanzler has been active for more than 20 years with volunteer and community activities, currently serving on the boards of the University of Florida Foundation and The Conservation Trust of Florida, and having previously served as chairman of the Jacksonville Zoological Society and commissioner for the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission. Former Gov. Charlie Crist appointed Tanzler in April 2008 to the District’s Governing Board, which he served on until becoming director of the Office of General Counsel in July 2011. While on the Board, Tanzler served as vice chairman and treasurer. He received a law degree from the University of Florida and has been a member of the Florida Bar for more than 30 years.
 
Lisa Rinaman, St. Johns Rivekeeper
The St. Johns Riverkeeper is the chief advocate and public's voice for the St. Johns River.  Ms. Rinaman’s responsibilities include: holding regulatory agencies and those polluting the river accountable; identifying and advocating for solutions that will protect and restore the river; working with government entities, businesses, community leaders and citizens to resolve problems that impact the river’s health; and communicating with the media and the public to educate and raise awareness about important river-related issues. As a former senior staff member for Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton, Ms. Rinaman has extensive experience building consensus around issues and helped implement numerous environmental initiatives and policies. Ms. Rinaman was instrumental in leading the effort to develop and implement irrigation, fertilizer and Florida Friendly landscaping ordinances to better protect the St. Johns and local waterways. She also played a key role in securing state funding for water quality improvements, organizing the city's successful Manatee Protection Plan, and pushing for programs necessary to fulfill the River Accord restoration plan for the Lower St. Johns River.
 
Margo Moehring, Managing Director of Policy and Planning, Northeast Florida Regional Council and Executive Director, Regional Community Institute of Northeast Florida, Inc.
Ms. Moehring joined Regional Council staff as Director of Policy in January 2008. In this capacity, she led efforts to establish a 50 year vision for growth and development in the First Coast, completed an update to the regional plan informed by the vision, and has worked with the Regional Community Institute (RCI) on sea level rise in Northeast Florida, an action item identified by the vision. She is currently staffing RCI efforts related to policy recommendations on the topic of “Thriving Small Business”. Prior to joining the Regional Council and RCI, she was appointed Chief of the Strategic Planning Division of the City of Jacksonville, Planning and Development Department. Before moving to Florida in 2000, she was Executive Director of Strategic Planning with the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services, Division of Real Estate Services. Ms. Moehring graduated from Jacksonville University and has a Master of Philosophy Degree in Town Planning from University College, London. Margo is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and the Royal Town Planning Institute.
 
Sara Gonzalez-Rothi Kronenthal, Esq. Senior Policy Specialist, National Wildlife Federation
Ms. Gonzalez-Rothi Kronenthal is the federal policy lead for Gulf of Mexico restoration in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, including restoration of America’s Everglades and the Mississippi River Delta. Prior to joining the National Wildlife Federation, Ms. Gonzalez-Rothi Kronenthal served in the United States Senate as Legislative Counsel for Senator Bill Nelson. In that role, she supported the Senator’s immediate and long-term efforts to address the Gulf oil disaster and a wide range of environmental, energy, agricultural, ocean and fisheries issues. She was a key staffer in drafting, negotiating, and final passage of the RESTORE Act. Ms. Gonzalez-Rothi Kronenthal is a Florida native. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Florida, a law degree from the University of Miami, and is currently pursuing an LL.M. in environmental law from the George Washington University.
 
Josephine M. Balzac, Esq. Chief Environmental Officer, EarthWeb Foundation
Ms. Balzac is a licensed attorney admitted to the Florida Bar and the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida.  Ms. Balzac previously worked as an Associate Attorney at an AV rated trial litigation and as a Project Manager/Research Associate for a food safety regulatory consulting group.  While in law school, Ms. Balzac received several scholarships, including the prestigious Holland & Knight Scholarship. She also won the Third Best Oralist award during the Stetson International Environmental Moot Court competition, where her team reached the semi-finals. She graduated as Valedictorian of her law school class and went on to earn her International Environmental LL.M. at The George Washington University Law School; while attending GWU Law she served as a Randolph C. Shaw Research Fellow for the Associate Dean of Environmental Studies and interned at the Environmental Protection Agency in the Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery in the International Transportation Branch.  She also developed a policy paper and presentation for The North American Consortium on Legal Education (NACLE) focusing on the public participation aspect of the Citizens’ Submissions provisions under the environmental side agreement complementing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In 2012, Ms. Balzac was recognized as the Student Travel Award winner for the Food & Drug Laws Division at the Institute of Food Technologists.   Ms. Balzac’s article “CAFTA-DR’s Citizen Submission Process: Is It Protecting the Indigenous Peoples Rights and Promoting the Three Pillars of Sustainable Development?” will be published in the Fall 2013 edition of the Loyola University of Chicago School of Law International Law Review.  Ms. Balzac is actively involved in the environmental community, frequently educating on environmental issues, including clean water, climate change, sustainable development, food and social justice issues.

 


 

 


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